Reflections on Unemployment

When your life is just about where you want it, two things happen. The first is not so surprising: you are able to focus more clearly on the positive. Since getting laid off at the end of April, it has been much easier for me to feel optimistic.

Nearly every day, for at least a minute or two I feel pure joy. Sometimes it happens while I’m looking at the sky, talking to one of my kids or even just watching TV with my husband. Suddenly, I’ll realize just how nice my life is and for a few seconds feel almost giddy.

For years, I’ve lectured myself on being more aware of my life’s blessings and feeling appreciative of the little things. I don’t know if those lectures are paying off now or if it’s the lack of pressure associated with a job.

The other thing that I’m observing is maybe not so good. I don’t feel the same kind of urgency I did before. With a job, my goal was pretty clear: get X number of clients, make X dollars a month freelancing, save X, then quit the day job and go full time. And of course, try to make it happen within X months, or years.

The goal is perhaps more nebulous now. I’m seeing other ways to earn X amount of dollars that might be just as good. I’m enjoying having time to meet friends for lunch, work on projects that don’t earn money but make me feel good and even cleaning my house a little more often.

The urgency is there, of course. Money isn’t falling out of the sky and new clients aren’t suddenly calling all the time. Somehow, though, I’m not worried. This feels right, and like it will work.

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